Venice Hotels Have Started Giving Guests Water Pistols

Seagulls have become a nuisance along the Grand Canal in Venice, and hotels have adopted a variety of strategies to ward them off. Two in particular – Marriott’s excellent Gritti Palace and Preferred Hotels’ Hotel Monaco – have started issuing water pistols to guests.

The birds are a protected species, and have to be dispatched in non-cruel ways. The Venice hotel association is said to be working on plans to address the matter but individual properties are taking things into their own hands.

Some strategies on the agenda include,

  • Using a falconer to hunt down the seagulls (expensive)
  • Blasting sound at them to scare them off (baby shark?)
  • Use of odors that ward them off but that are imperceptible to humans

Here’s the frustration,

“As soon as guests get up, perhaps to go to the buffet, seagulls pounce on the food and take it away…We are forced to intervene continuously to change tablecloths, plates and glasses, which they often break. Some customers laugh about it, but others get angry.”

What the Luxury Collection Gritti Palace is doing is giving guests orange water pistols. Apparently seagulls hate orange.

“As soon as they see the pistols, they fly away,” Paolo Lorenzini, of the Gritti Palace, told the Italian press. “You don’t even need to use them, you just need to keep them on the table.”

Permission to shoot a hotel-provided water gun at breakfast seems like something I’d be willing to pay a resort fee for. And the Gritti Palace doesn’t even charge one!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. And in an update, Texas hotels begin to offer AR17 to guests to scare off mask wearing people. No license or background check required.

  2. @ Gary — Sounds like a great reason for Marriott to end free breakfast at Gritti. The CEO couldn’t be happier.

  3. Marriott quickly solves this problem by adding free-range seagulls to their breakfast and lunch menus. In addition, I also recommend Marriott offer Platinum elite members or higher, 1,000 bonus bounty points for every severed seagull head delivered to the front hotel desk before guest checkout.

  4. Suddenly sales of freshly squeezed orange juice all times of day in super sized glasses and duck l’orange at lunch and dinner are skyrocketing at the marvelous Gritti outdoor dining patio on the canal.

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